The inaugural Run for Delta raised $35,000 in support of the Delta Hospital Foundation and the Surrey Food Bank.
The event, put on by the Baitur Rahman Mosque, saw just over 400 people running or walking either the five-kilometre or one-kilometre route.
“The Ahmadiyya Muslim community is honoured to have the opportunity to organize this event,” Imam Tariq Azeem said before the race. “We are equally proud that we can all be here together to help our local hospital and food bank.”
Several dignitaries took part in the race, including Delta Fire Chief Dan Copeland, City Manager George Harvie, Delta MP Carla Qualtrough and Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon.
“We’re so fortunate that we live in such an inclusive community … but that doesn’t just happen,” Kahlon said. “We have to work on it. We have to work on it all the time.”
“This event, for me, is symbolic of that working together, bringing communities together,” he continued.
“We have people from all walks of life, all different faiths here for one cause: to support our local hospital, to support people when they’re desperately in need.”
At the opening ceremonies, the mosque presented the Delta Hospital Foundation with a $15,000 cheque, and the Surrey Food Bank with a $5,000 cheque. Additional donations were raised through a live auction, led by Delta South MLA Ian Paton.
“This run is one of those examples, is a shining example actually, of how this Delta community typically rallies around … important causes,” said Lisa Hoglund, executive director of the Delta Hospital Foundation.
Feezah Jaffer, executive director of the Surrey Food Bank, had similar feelings.
“Every single cent, every single step we take today, every single effort we put into this great event goes directly to benefit our neighbours in our community,” Jaffer said.
The Run for Delta is the seventh event in the Run for Canada series, held by members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community across the country, but was the first event held in Delta.